What are the steps I need to take to evict tenants living at my house?

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What are the steps I need to take to evict tenants living at my house?

In short, I have been renting my house to a few friends for some time. However, they’re repeatedly late with rent and disrespectful to my house. I want to evict them as soon as possible. However, I don’t know how to do this, and I want to comply with the law completely. Another thing to add is they are under no leasing agreement. They never signed anything to stay at my house, they merely have shared quarters. Their stay hasn’t been legally binding in any way. So how do I get them out of my house?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not there is a written lease the law will consider then to be tenants; month-to-month. Accordingly, they will have to be served with proper notice to vacate. In this situation 30 days is appropriate. If they do not leave by the date specified in the notice you will have to file an "unlawful detainer" action in court (i.e. eviction lawsuit). The court will then issue an order for them to vacate. If they still fail to do so then you can have the sheriff evict them. In the meantime do not use any self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing their belongings; you would then be liable for unlawful eviction.

At this point consult with an attorney in your who handles these matters. They can advise you on the proper form of notice that must be given under TN and other procedures to follow. Possibly the applicable court in your area can also be of help. Additionally, sometimes these forms can be found on-line.


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